The Mission Impossible TV series used play with the alphabet on signs to make the locale vaguely East European, e.g. Kredit Bänk.


----- Original Message -----
From: "David Peterson" <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Monday, January 13, 2014 3:33:10 PM
Subject: Re: Blog post about movie conlang

This was really, really common, though, not just in movies but in TV before, say, the 70s. Danger Man does this a lot (in the early seasons) when it wants to put a show in an Eastern Bloc nation without saying which one. I wouldn't call it a conlang.

David PetersonLCS President
[log in to unmask]

On Jan 13, 2014, at 12:00 PM, Fredrik Ekman <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Claude wrote, regarding the language in The Lady Vanishes:
>> Actually there is a script in
>> <>,
>> but it only includes dialog that is in English. However, it could be
>> used to start captioning the video, leaving only the non-English
>> passages blank for later transcription efforts. A matter of
>> reuploading the video to YouTube, then, from the admin interface,
>> adding to it the transcript as .txt file and leaving the
>> synchronization to the YouTube software. As the film is in the Public
>> Domain, there should be no problem with YouTube's copyright
>> e-rottweiler.
>> Then the YT video could be added to Amara, which will pump the
>> captions too, and there it'll be possible to edit them.
> If you or anyone else wants to take up that challenge, I will be happy to
> cheer you on. However, the trouble is not to determine where there is
> Bandrikan dialogue (so the transcript, I think, would be pretty
> worthless), except there is some badly pronounced Italian and German that
> could perhaps be confused with Bandrikan. No, the problem is the very act
> of transcripting the dialogue once you have identified it.
> I have tried with other movie material in the past to make these kinds of
> analyses, and here are some problems connected with an analysis of a
> non-text source:
> - Even in a natlang, different speakers will have different speach
> patterns, different ways of pronouncing specific phonemes, etc. With a
> conlang this problem will be increased, since each actor will have his
> individual "foreign accent" idiolect added to that.
> - Actors may have forgotten their lines and adlibed words or phrases. The
> director perhaps does not care as long as it sounds believable.
> - It is very hard to determine word boundaries.
> In my experience, it is possible to achieve some limited results. It may
> be possible to form a hypothesis as to whether it is a "real" conlang or
> not. Some possible grammatical structures may be identified (a handful of
> suffixes, basic SVO order, that kind of thing), some words may be
> translated. But it will not be possible to make a proper grammar or a full
> dictionary.
> So I do not think it is worth the effort, but if anyone else wants to
> tackle it, I will be very interested in seeing any results.
>  Fredrik